International operations

  • Chinese AbacusThink Global

Opportunities to expand lie beyond your local region.  A choice is simple expansion of your current products and services.   An unmet need in some other region may already exist and you can expand to meet the need.

Competitors may see your success and expand into your local market.  They may copy the concept or improve it.

When your local economy falls into a downturn and your market is shrinking, some other country is likely expanding.

You can attract better staff and retain them when they can see your company will continue.  This allows them to depend on the income and can see opportunities to advance.

  • Act Local

People are attracted to the familiar, and are very reluctant to change.  You can mitigate this by changing in their region to fit in.  Changes include product, services, sales, image, and staff.

While living in several countries we see products and services in the local language, advertising consistent with local styles, packaging in local style, offered via local persons, and a local address for sales, questions, and support.

  • Research is vital for success

Objective research in another country is very important.  You need to know, in the new region:

If they perceive that everything local is better than any other region, you must become local.

If they clearly admire your country and offerings better than their local region, you could promote the improvement.

What are the key perceptions of your type of product or services?

What are the perceptions of your product, services, and support?

What are the perceptions of your company?

  • Language

Many business people and tourists when abroad hold the impression that English is spoken everywhere.  They succeed in ordering food, buying souvenirs and enjoying their tour guide’s explanations.  They talk about home with the fellow tourists.  Some tips about local restaurants and enjoyable excursions are shared.  They feel comfortable that they now know about that country they toured.

CEOs and managers in businesses, when visiting other offices in foreign countries converse with their colleagues and employees in English.  It appears that English can be used anywhere.  Therefore they perceive that which succeeds in the their own country is admired and will succeed anywhere.

People usually appear to understand and want to be pleasant with others.

So, do we all have mutual understanding?

We have listened to persons speaking in English with persons whose mother language is not English.  The English speaking persons are confident that the understandings were mutual.  Knowing the other language, I have observed many vast misunderstandings, sometimes completely wrong.

It is a shock to be in an important meeting and realize the local version of English is so different that you cannot fully understand the discussion.  Worse, you use some typical home region colloquialism and they misunderstand you.  You can avoid this by careful research and advance preparation.  An easy solution is to go with a locally informed person who can shield you from your appearing ignorant.

When we translate one language into another, it is surprising how difficult it is to express some concepts in another language.  The original expressions cannot be directly translated when they involve different cultures, beliefs, practices, and perceptions.  Objective analysis is required to convey the original perceptions to those of a different culture and language.  Sometimes the accepted beliefs, even superstitions are so firmly held, a major change in wording is required.  The goal is to gain common understanding of the basic point and avoid distracting anger and conflict.

  • Culture

Often there are intercultural interactions that range from unpleasant to offensive.   A few important questions: What to wear and when? Usual gestures?  How do you say hello?  How do you introduce yourself?  Offer gifts or no gifts?  What gifts?  Bribes?

What is a typical colloquial saying in your language is often completely lost on a person with another skill, culture, language, education, or focus.

Jokes are by far the worst source of misunderstanding.

  • Objective research

You or one of your friends may have traveled to the new region.  Personal opinions based on the perspectives from your culture are worse than ignorance.  We have observed hundreds of failures due to a perception of similarities and failing to research and accept the other countries culture.

Daily observations over the years while living and traveling in various countries has taught us to be far more objective than we ever imagined while living in only one region of one country.

We research, review, analyze and evaluate technology companies in many countries.  Further, confidential investigations and evaluations.  We use the perspectives gained from ongoing relationships with partners, associates, investment groups, and companies in several countries.   When necessary, we review key questions with associates in other countries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *